More than 100 Vincentians have so far found temporary employment in the medicinal cannabis industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
They are involved in preparatory work to establish activities at various sites, a press release from the Medical Cannabis Authority (MCA) said.
These preparatory works include land clearing, excavation, installation of fencing and irrigation systems, assembling of greenhouses, trucking of material, preparation of compost material, mulch and soil amendments and general administration.
The MCA said that since granting the first set of licences on July 10 the industry has been progressing favourably.
“The industry is having positive spill-over effects on the overall economy including contracting of legal services, renting of vehicles, taxi operations, hotel and apartment accommodation, leasing of residential homes, purchasing of food at restaurants and supermarkets, leasing and purchasing of lands and buildings for operations,” the MCA said.
It said this is testimony that investors are confident in SVG’s ability to become a leading producer of certified pharmaceutical-grade cannabis.
“This country possesses conditions that are ideal for the establishment of medicinal cannabis operations. These include: availability of arable lands with fertile Mollic Andosol soil; decades of experience in high-quality agriculture commercial production and export; experience in certification of Fairtrade, HACCP, ISO’s, Global GAP and EurepGAP; movement toward 100% organic production in agriculture, which began with a total ban on all glyphosate products including ‘Round Up’, ‘Glyphos’ and ‘Touchdown;’ over 50 years of experience in cannabis cultivation; 365 days of efficient water supply; and political will and local support for the industry,” the statement said.
At the same time, significant work is being carried out to ensure the smooth transition of traditional cultivators of cannabis into the licit cannabis industry. Community liaisons have been recruited by the MCA to assist with this process and to disseminate information throughout SVG.
The authority is also working to assist traditional farmers who have stated that they do not have lands, a necessary resource, for the cultivation of medicinal cannabis.